Allison, faith, family, Morgan, Uncategorized

I Saw You

One shoe off and one shoe on. Oh little dumplin’ where’s your mom?

While a few people say they choose to be homeless, the vast majority are homeless for a thousand other reasons. But for the grace of God, it could be any one of us. I’m so thankful for Room In The Inn , The Contributor, and other organizations in our area that provide support to our neighbors in need. As individuals, we can only do so much. Supporting organizations that know how to make an effective difference is one answer.

The first thing I noticed were your light pink tennis shoes, one shoe off and one shoe on. Then, as we passed by, I saw your dark brown hair. I guessed your age to be somewhere between the age of my own two daughters, 27 and 33.

Our family was visiting the Chattanooga Aquarium. It was a beautiful day, so our older daughter, Allison, suggested we walk to the restaurant. It was a twenty minute walk down one of the main city streets. Morgan first noticed a “clock tower” on the side of one of the buildings. She was taking it all in, “Walking in the city”. As we strolled further, we saw a number of people who were homeless. We nodded and continued walking.

That’s when I saw you. You were asleep on the concrete by the sidewalk. Even though we continued walking, acting as if all was well, my younger daughter paused, looking at you and then turning her gaze to me. Remember, I told you Morgan is 27. She is on the autism spectrum. Developmentally, she still sees a lot of things the way a child sees them. She may not have had the words to express it, but she knew you didn’t belong there. I told her you were just resting and nudged her along. But she was right. You don’t belong there and I just wanted you to know we saw you. You are someone’s daughter. As a mother, I will keep you in my prayers.

A photo memory of my daughters

I am a picture taker. I am always snapping photos of the ones I love. I have countless picture memories of my daughters. Although I don’t have a physical picture of you, I do have one in my heart. I see you. More importantly, God sees you and your two pink shoes. He even knows the number of dark brown hairs on your head. He Loves You and so do I. Mom Hugs.

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope,

Tammy Vice

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Allison, family, joy, Love, Morgan, Uncategorized

How Many More Miles?

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach

It’s a question my dad, my daughters’ dad, and countless other dads have heard many times. Children can be so ready to get to the destination that they wish away the road time. I remember nodding off to sleep in the back seat, hoping to wake up just in time to be THERE. Now that I’m older, I’ve learned that the miles along the way can be just as meaningful. I don’t want to sleep through the Here and Now.

Building the Trike with Dad. “We got this!”
Morgan, taking her babies for a ride.
Dad and Allison Making Fudge
Mission Accomplished
Morgan, showing her “Three Wheels” to Mamaw and Papaw

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, my girl’s dad, and all those dads that go the extra mile for their families. Hugs and Hearts! 🤗❤️

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy Vice

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autism, dance, faith, family, Morgan, Uncategorized

A Soul’s Tale of Soles

“Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes.  Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.”  Joe South

I share our family’s walk through the world of autism, in an effort to create awareness, and understanding.  You might say my writing shoes were inherited from my dad, so I thought I’d share one of his writings with you in this post, along with some soul to sole picture moments.

Pictured below; Mine and my sister’s baby shoes

Little Crochet Booties by Winston Burkett (Papaw)

Little crochet booties, two feet in just one hand
I held you up and out to God, for I was one proud man
Then came little walking shoes, and alone you learned to stand
But I stood there ready, to offer you a hand
O dear child tread gently, as your walk through life you start
O dear child tread gently, you’re walking through my heart

Mistakes I’ve made a plenty, as I watched you grow
But have no doubt my love is strong, I wanted you to know
I always stood there ready when you took your first steps,
I stood there, as I do now, to offer you my help

Shoes of patent leather were awkward at their best
But they sure were pretty with your first Easter dress
Then there were the barefoot days with bruises and bandaids
When it came to childhood pranks, you sure made the grade
O dear child tread gently, as you walk through life, you stroll
O dear child tread gently, for you’re walking with my soul

Pictured below; Princess Morgan in her prom sneakers for Night To Shine.  It’s how “Cinderella” was able to stay and dance at the ball all night. 😉

Morgan Prom Shoes

Then there were the sneakers, and even baseball cleats
And tennis shoes with bobby socks, sure made you look neat
The ballet shoes that you did dance and wore the toe clear through
I stood and watched your graceful steps, o so proud of you
O dear child tread gently, as through life you stride
O dear child tread gently, for I’m watching you with pride

Pictured below; Allison and her soulmate

Allison Wedding Shoe

How about those high heels, you wore to your school prom
They sure made you look so nice, you borrowed them from mom
One day there came a wedding, your shoes I couldn’t see
The lovely dress and long white train had hidden them from me
O dear child tread gently, as you make life your own
O dear child tread gently, and you’ll never be alone

Now what is this with slippers, a child does grow within
Yes, it is my grandchild, whose love I’ll surely win
Little crochet booties, both feet in just one hand
I hold you up and out to God, for I am one proud man

Pictured below; Morgan and Allison’s baby shoes

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy Vice

P.S. And just for a smile, here’s a picture of the shoes I wore recently, on a busy mom day. 😉

Mom Shoes

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autism, family

The Ultimate Goal

Recently, our older daughter reached a big goal of hers.  She is now a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst).  We’re very proud of Allison for hanging in there and doing all that was required to get there.  She’s always been one to set goals for herself and reach them without any major detours.

Morgan’s path has been a very different one.  We’ve partnered with her, setting and resetting goals, taking two steps forward and one step back, often doing a few pirouettes.  We are equally proud of all she has accomplished along the way.

We made a sister visit to give Allison a medal for passing her exam.  Morgan gave herself a medal for being Morgan.  Both were very well deserved. 😉

Medal Medal1

Medal2

Ultimately our prayer is for both of our girls to know their purpose in this life, and experience the lasting joy that comes from being who they are individually called to be.  We feel pretty blessed that we were called to be their parents. 😉

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Rudy and Tammy Vice

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Uncategorized

Measuring Up

Morgan and I recently visited the TRIAD department at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.  We are participating in a research study for young adults on the autism spectrum who are transitioning out of school services.  We hope to learn as much as we can about how our options measure up as we step into this new chapter of our lives.

While we were at TRIAD, Morgan did a little measuring of her own .  She thoroughly enjoyed playing games with the examiner, who’s name was Alison.  Since her sister is also named Allison, She found a unique way to keep them separate.  Morgan now refers to her new friend as “Taller Allison” and her sister as “Smaller Allison”.  Her sister has never been thrilled about being vertically challenged, especially since Morgan surpassed her a bit in height, so I can’t wait to hear her response to her new name.  😉

sisters rehearsal Morgan and “Smaller Allison”

When I was growing up, I remember my dad backing me up against the wall and making a mark over my head to measure my height. Measuring and sizing up situations is important.  It’s a great way to see progress.  When measuring people, I think what really matters is the size of their heart.

As June comes and we celebrate Fathers Day, I’m thankful for my dad, and my girls’ dad.  They’re a couple of guys with really BIG hearts. 😉

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Dad and His Girls

dad and me 1958 My dad and me 1958

Happy Fathers Day to dads in all shapes and sizes.  This song is for you. 😉

How God Measures a Man

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy Vice

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Uncategorized

“Life is GRAND”

Wikipedia refers to them as Grandparents.  We call them Mamaw and Papaw, and we agree they are GRAND.  Over the years, they’ve done whatever it takes to teach and entertain the troops. From fishing to farming, tour guiding to taxiing, bargaining to baking,… They are true professors of life.

Disney Mamaw Papaw Morgan Disney Delight with Morgan

Papaw Mamaw Allison Med Cruise 1 Mediterranean Merriment  with Allison

Grandparents are a hard act to follow. 

Maybe THAT’s why we get to be parents first. 😉

Below are a couple of tunes to honor GRAND Parenting…

Somebody’s Grandpa

Grandma Edmond’s Daily Bread

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy Vice

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Uncategorized

Dancing Down Life’s Aisle

In the past six months I’ve lost a little over forty pounds.  Some of you have asked if I’m ok.  The answer is Yes!  I’m feeling much healthier and very grateful.  All it took was prayer and a little elbow grease. 😉  Here’s the story:

Romans 12:1 “…Make a decisive dedication of your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service and spiritual worship.”

The pages on the calendar continue to flip and fly with life’s events. Morgan will be walking (or dancing) down the graduation aisle with her senior class buddies next June.  She will turn 20 in November, but autism continues to keep her my “forever child”.  Allison will complete her Masters in May and walk down the wedding aisle next September.  All of that to say, I am a VERY blessed and busy mom.

 Although our body is supposed to be a temple, mine was feeling a bit more like a rundown duplex.  😉 After several failed attempts to lose weight and get back in shape on my own, I sent up a sincere prayer for help.  I wanted to be present again to enjoy my family.  As a caregiver, I knew I’d have to go about things a little differently.  Trips to a gym and extended special needs childcare were not within my budget or time constraints.  

Allison said “If you want to lose weight, there’s an app for that!”  I began using “Lose It”, a free app that helped me easily keep track of calories and exercise.   Treadmills are just boring, so I purchased a “Zumba” exercise DVD to get me motivated and moving. Morgan has started joining me to exercise.  She wears her hula shirt and does her own thing while I attempt to teach my body new ways to bend. Picture it in your mind and chuckle, because I will not be providing that photo here. 😉  It’s been fun!  And we are both enjoying better health.  By far, my biggest and best tool has been prayer.  Today I pray for your good health, happiness, and all the healing that love and laughter brings.

Image   Then – December 2012 Allison, Mom, and Morgan

Image        Image        Now – September 2013  

Graduation Aisle                                       Wedding Aisle    

Until Next Time, 

Know The Hope,

Tammy Vice                                                                     

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Uncategorized

Life Changing

Life is always changing, always offering new beginnings.  I remember when Allison came into my life and changed everything I thought I knew.  Being a mom for the first time was scary and amazing all at the same time.  The love I felt when they first put her in my arms helped me begin to understand the love God has for all of His children.  Nothing makes Him happier than to see us enjoying the life He gave us. Nothing makes me happier than to see her joy.  Here she is below in the palm of her Papaw’s hand.  Below that is a young man asking for her hand.  Wishing them both all the joy that life and love brings!

Papaw and Allison Handstand Walking on Air – Then

Allison's Proposal Walking on Air – Now

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